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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

Written by Jamie Goral on Friday, 13 August 2021. Posted in Reviews

Elite Business has asked me to review my must-read books for business owners and this is the first one in the series.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

Elite Business has asked me to review my must-read books for business owners and this is the first one in the series. We all know how important it is to recruit, develop and retain a great team. But so often, our focus can trail away from what is our biggest asset - our people and the success they can create when they truly work well together. 

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, bestselling business author Patrick Lencioni offers a powerful insight to leaders. This book goes to the very heart of why teams - even those we think are performing at their very best - often struggle. Lencioni outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. 

I’m not giving away the value of the book when I list the 5 dysfunctions below. They’re common issues that business owners come up against whether you want to admit them or not. The fact is that teams hold multiple personalities with many complex and varying needs, not least since one of the most challenging periods in many people’s career histories!

The 5 dysfunctions are:

1) Absence of trust - the core issue that Lencioni portrays as the lynchpin for other dysfunctions to then manifest

2) Fear of conflict - avoiding constructive debate and giving a pretence of harmony 

3) Lack of commitment - without that group buy-in, the team never truly commits to reaching their goals

4) Avoidance of accountability - not taking responsibility or passing the buck sets low standards

5) Inattention to results - not working towards organisational goals as a team because of the previous 4 dysfunctions can lead to ultimate failure for everyone even though some individuals may achieve some personal success.

They are plenty of reasons for these five dysfunctions to appear in your teams and even more responses to fallout from them if you don’t provide the leadership your team needs. 

Lencioni takes us through an easy-to-follow fable (as is his style with his other books) which will help you see the cause and effect of these five key dysfunctions of a team. Of course, he doesn’t leave it there. He also gives us direction on how to recognise and overcome each one in a way that puts this book on many a bestseller list including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal… and on my must-read list too!

If you like this book, you may also wish to look at Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team by the same author. His field guide provides leaders, managers and facilitators with a practical tool for helping implement the concepts in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. You can find his suite of business books on his author profile on Amazon with prices starting from around £14.

About the Author

Jamie Goral

Jamie Goral

Jamie Goral is an award-winning business coach based in London. He has a must-read list of books for business owners which he’ll be reviewing exclusively for Elite Business. Jamie works with driven business owners like you every day, to find the right way for them to actually achieve their goals – whether those are higher profits, better teams, more free time, or all three. In fact, most of his clients experience double-digit growth within a year.

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